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Disabil Rehabil. 2014;36(1):82-8. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2013.780641. Epub 2013 Apr 18.

ICF profiling of patients with traumatic brain injury: an international professional survey.

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Brain Injury Unit, Guttmann Institut Hospital for Neurorehabilitation- Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona , Badalona , Spain .



A worldwide internet survey was conducted (1) to identify problems of individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) addressed by health professionals and (2) to summarize these problems using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF).


A pool of professionals involved in the TBI rehabilitation process that included physicians, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, social workers and psychologists were surveyed to identify problems in functioning and contextual factors of individuals with TBI using open-ended questions. All answers were translated ("linked") to the ICF based on established rules. The frequencies of the linked ICF categories were reported stratified based on context.


One-hundred thirty seven professionals from the six World Health Organization regions identified 5656 concepts. 92.66% could be linked to the ICF; 33.03% were related to the domain of body functions, 27.28% to activities and participation, 10.98% to structures and 21.38% to environmental factors.


The complexity of TBI was described through the identification of a wide variety of ICF categories. ICF language proved to be a neutral framework allowing the comparison of answers between different professionals in different world regions.


People that suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may have a variety of sequelae that impair functioning. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) can help in providing information regarding the identification of patients problems and needs as well as planning, implementing and coordinating the rehabilitation process. The ICF provides a frame of reference process illustrated as the rehabilitation cycle that can help during the rehabilitation process in goal setting bringing together the clinicians' and patient's perspectives in a patient oriented biopsychosocial approach. In the field of TBI rehabilitation, activity limitations and participation restrictions are broadly affected as reported by the professionals interviewed and highly influenced by cognitive and moreover behavioral problems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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